Updated: Jun 5
Aromatherapy, the practice of using natural plant extracts (essential oils) for healing, has been used for centuries. Today, scientists know essential oils can directly affect your mental state, physical state, and spiritual consciousness. The influence of aromas and your sense of smell are continuing to be studied by scientists, however here is a small rundown on how essential oils influence our bodies.
Your sense of smell may be a lot more powerful than you may think. Everyday we are affected by different aromas around us, whether we are aware of it or not. When a fragrance is inhaled, the odor travels up the nose to the olfactory epithelium, olfactory receptor cells are triggered, and send an impulse to the olfactory bulb. There are around 2,000 glomeruli in the olfactory bulb, which transmit the impulses to parts of the brain including the gustatory center(where taste is perceived), the amygdala (where emotional memories are stored), and other parts of the limbic system. Our sense of smell is the only one of our five senses directly linked to the limbic lobe. The limbic system is directly connected to the parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, stress levels, memory, and hormone balance.